Mads Mikkelsen reinstates a journalist in Venice

Mads Mikkelsen reinstates a journalist in Venice

At a press conference for his upcoming film The Promised Land, the actor appears confused over a remark about the lack of diversity in casting.

Mads Mikkelsen is starring in the next film Nikolaj Arcel, The Promised Land. It is a period drama, setting its plot in Denmark in 1755 in which Mikkelsen plays Captain Ludvig Kahlen, a tenacious man who aims to establish a colony in the name of the king on a seemingly uninhabitable land. If he succeeds, he hopes to obtain a royal title that would free him from poverty, but his project comes up against the lord of the region, Frederik de Schinkel (Simon Bennebjerg), who will do anything to obstruct Ludvig’s objective.

The film was presented at the Venice Film Festival and during its press conference a journalist confronted Mads Mikkelsen And Nikolaj Arcel on the issue of diversity, and the new rule to respect to compete at the Oscars: “It’s a Danish cast and production, therefore entirely Nordic, and as a result, there is a lack of diversity, one could say.

This is how the journalist approaches the subject of this new criterion set up by the Academy of Oscars and which will be effective in 2024. In order to be able to compete in the “Best Film” category, the works will have to respect a certain number of criteria favoring the ethnic diversity, inclusion, representation of the LGBTQ+ community and disabilities as well as the promotion of technicians (via variety).

As soon as the journalist broaches the subject, Mads Mikkelsen laughs, asking where the journalist plans to go like that. He continues: “There are diversity rules on the other side of the Atlantic to compete for Best Film, the equivalent of this competition. I see that you are not meeting those standards with this casting. I’m just curious: it’s not because of artistic reasons, but because of a lack of diversity that this film cannot compete. Are you worried about this?”.

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Mikkelsen responds straight away: “Are you? I am serious and honest, you are embarrassing us so it is up to you to answer the question.” The journalist supports his argument by taking the example of Parasitewhich won the Oscar for Best Film in 2020, and would correspond to the new diversity rules, precisely because it originates from South Korea and highlights an ethnic category considered under-represented, which falls within the criteria of eligibility, which is not the case for The Promised Land.

Nikolaj Arcelthe director, speaks and attempts a nuanced response: “The film is set in Denmark in the 1750s. There is an important storyline about a black girl who is subject to racism, which was extremely rare at the time (…) she was probably the only one black person in the entire country at the time. It’s not something we thought about. It would just be strange, it’s historical, it was like that in the 1750s.The Promised Land will be released in France under the title King’s Land on January 17, 2024.

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